Earthquakes rock Taranaki

MATT RILKOFF 01/01/2013


tdn quake stand

A series of earthquakes hit Taranaki early this morning.

Powerful earthquakes that rocked Taranaki this morning do not mean a bigger one is on the way a GNS scientist says.

Partying or not all Taranaki residents started 2013 with a bang when a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck 30km off the coast of Opunake at 3.11am.

The big shake was followed two smaller aftershocks and then a powerful 4.3 magnitude quake at 3.42am.

GNS Science duty vulcanologist said Steve Sherburn said it was not unusual to have seismic activity in the Cape Egmont fault zone where they quakes have been located.

He said between 100 and 200 earthquakes were recorded in the area each year and today’s  shakes did not imply more were too come.

”There was a magnitude 6.1 in 1974 offshore of Opunake so these things are not unusual. We don’t see any evidence of a build-up phenomenon. I would be very surprised if it didn’t just fade away,” he said.


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3 Responses to Earthquakes rock Taranaki

  1. martinharrisnz says:

    Before got ‘hacked’ we were discussing offshore oil/gas exploration on the West Coast of the North Island. There is a pattern emerging here that echoes what happened in Christchurch. I doubt this seismic activity will “fade away”. How many towed arrays are active in the Taranaki area right now?

  2. Peter Woodhall says:

    It depends on the depth of the Quakes. If they are 200 kms down plus, they are more likely to be natural ones, where no damage is really caused (the plates go down hundreds of kms) unlike the shallow, destruction Quakes ( 2 km to 16 km depth) in Christchurch where I live. Those are designed to do the most damage, and kill the most people, hitting in the prime time of day 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm. Just remember Haiti 2010, and Japan 2011. Happy New Year 2013. Pete

  3. Richard says:

    According to this report the depths were 5 and 6km deep respectively.
    There are no records of these quakes on USGS, which there should be.
    Geonet now has conflicting depth information.

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